Nationwide, about 30 percent of whites over 25 hold college degrees, according to new census figures. The share of whites with college degrees runs below that national average in 241 House districts; Democrats now hold 128 of them and Republicans 113. Those Democratic seats, particularly in interior states, present big opportunities for Republicans: Those districts include 25 of the 39 that my colleagues at The Cook Political Report rate as most vulnerable to a GOP takeover.
In 194 districts, the share of whites with college degrees exceeds the national average. Democrats hold 130; Republicans only 64. That 66-seat advantage contributes much more to the Democratic majority than the party's 15-seat edge in the blue-collar seats. The Cook Report rates only 14 of the well-educated Democratic districts as vulnerable. Yet more could waver, because Obama is showing new vulnerability among college whites ... A possible Republican surge next year in blue-collar "beer track" districts remains the biggest threat to the Democrats' House majority. The Democrats' vulnerability will deepen, however, if they cannot hold the line in "wine track" districts whose education levels exceed the national average. That's one way a difficult 2010 election for Democrats could turn catastrophic.
Rasmussen Reports provides some new numbers that might distress the Democrats:
Republican candidates have bounced back to a seven-point lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.